The Kings are dead…. long live the Kings!

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, EP Kings, Original Content on 5 Aug 2016 at 09:37
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So yesterday was a rather momentous day down in the Bay for a number of reasons; it’s not often that a rugby team suffers liquidation of its controlling union in the morning, receives a timely and unexpected cash boost for lunch and then has Currie Cup Premier Division participation confirmed in the afternoon. Like sands through the hourglass, so are the Days of our Kings.

To summarise, the Eastern Province Rugby Union was finally liquidated in the PE High Court yesterday, meaning that entity, corrupt and rotten to the core as it is, will no longer be able to operate in any meaningful way. Assets will be sold (such as they are) and creditors (mostly unpaid players) will get cents in the Rand. It’s a pretty awful situation all round, but it does, at least, create a vacuum into which something else can step. Rugby in the Province is not dead and this was confirmed almost immediately following the liquidation; the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has pledged a R20M rescue package to support rugby in the province and ensure that the Kings are able to field a team in the Currie Cup.

The liquidation of the old structure was a key step here, because if it hadn’t been for that, any money provided by the municipality would just have been poured into the same black hole and would have had to be used to pay existing EPRU creditors, rather than the salaries of a Currie Cup squad. This announcement, together with confirmation from SA Rugby that the Kings will indeed play in the Premier Division, represents yet another new start for the Kings. Let’s hope this one, finally, has some legs!

Logistically, this remains a nightmare. The Kings’ opening fixture against Griquas in Kimberley was to have taken place this afternoon. That has been postponed, meaning a home fixture against Boland in round 2 will become the Kings’ first hurdle. There’s a mad scramble to get a coach and competitive(ish) squad in place, with the possibility of some progress, at least, on the latter part. If the talk is to be believed, a number of fringe players from other Currie Cup teams could be on their way to rescue the Kings, with the name of one of the region’s sons, Ryan Kankowski, one of the more interesting ones on the list. Kankowski did not make the SA Sevens squad for the Rio Olympics and is thus (seemingly) at a bit of a loose end.


  • Is Kanko contract-less, or just without a team to represent?

    Probably a wise idea to turn the epru into an academy side, give opportunity to the many talented players stuck in a waiting queue (-at the bulls) the opportunity to get some exposure.

    I wonder how much of the money is earmarked for the age group players and coaches?

  • Comment 1, posted at 05.08.16 09:45:34 by FireTheLooser Reply
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 1) : He should theoretically be contracted to SA Rugby

  • Comment 2, posted at 05.08.16 09:52:37 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : Is he out of contract with the Sharks?

  • Comment 3, posted at 05.08.16 09:57:03 by Hulk Reply

  • My only question is who is running the Currie cup Kings? Will it be the same board and management or will the whole top structures also be changed because of the liquidation?

  • Comment 4, posted at 05.08.16 09:57:14 by JD Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : As far as i know he doesnt have a Bok or Sevens contract so could be a free agent. Is his Jap deal no more?

  • Comment 5, posted at 05.08.16 09:57:27 by SheldonK Reply

  • A couple questions i have regarding this: what happens to the contracts of those players contracted to EP Rugby? Are they now null and void or are they deemed assets to be sold off? I am assuming it is the Amateur arm of EP rugby that is now running the rule over their u19 and u21 side? How can this Union be expected to realistically play Super rugby next year? Id much rather see an SA Country Districts side play super rugby made up of the best of Griquas, Pumas, Boland, Valke, Griffons etc

  • Comment 6, posted at 05.08.16 10:01:37 by SheldonK Reply

  • 20 million from the municipality? question is where would it have been better spent, retaining a New York lawyer for Danny Jordaan or on EP Rugby. I think they made the right decission.

  • Comment 7, posted at 05.08.16 10:02:28 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Hulk (Comment 3) : oh yeah – has been for about a year

  • Comment 8, posted at 05.08.16 10:11:34 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 8) : Thought he had a contract with us but was released to the sevens side (ala loaning players to the Kings). Surely someone of his caliber will be picked up by someone. I know he’s not been at his best for some time now but I assume someone still sees something…

    How about turning him into a centre? 😈

  • Comment 9, posted at 05.08.16 10:28:00 by Hulk Reply

  • Whats the story with the u19 CC- does it still continue? Havnt heard anything for a while. Also when does the u21 comp start?

  • Comment 10, posted at 05.08.16 10:29:15 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 10) : it’s still gong on. Sharks have a bye this weekend, but play EP in the second round next Saturday.

    u21 starts this week. Again, we have a bye and start our campaign with a home game against EP next Saturday.

  • Comment 11, posted at 05.08.16 10:32:53 by robdylan Reply
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  • I am in the eastern province for a month now and the people here are very much rugby mad , i have also been to a few rugby matches and to a few schools they do have the talent here for sure to become a force if only they get proper systems in place really hope this can happen with the rise of the new Kings now

  • Comment 12, posted at 05.08.16 10:46:09 by John Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 11) : Dankie meneer

  • Comment 13, posted at 05.08.16 10:54:30 by SheldonK Reply

  • Just keep Watson and his band of saboteurs out of the new start! The province deserves better.

    @John (Comment 12) :
    Plenty of passion and talent. The people deserve our support even if the corrupt administration did not.

  • Comment 14, posted at 05.08.16 11:04:55 by Big Fish Reply
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  • I reckon they can credibly calls themselves the EP Phoenixes at this point.

  • Comment 15, posted at 05.08.16 11:16:09 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 15) : Remembering the days when the Sharks did a Phoenix themselves

  • Comment 16, posted at 05.08.16 11:26:28 by Henkb Reply
  • @SheldonK (Comment 6) : SARU (bless them) has already contracted players for next season for the Kings . think most of the same players will be back

  • Comment 17, posted at 05.08.16 12:17:54 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 17) : Maybe SARU needs a blesser. I really feel sorry for the players and people in the Eastern Cape as they are being screwed over. There is so much talent that could be streamlined and developed but the administration is killing that. Then again no big business in PE has come forward to sponsor so guess you get out what you put in.

  • Comment 18, posted at 05.08.16 12:29:12 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 18) : hopefully now together with the liquidation new management (board, CEO, etc) will be put in place and then just maybe they could attract another sponsor otherwise the metro can be their sponsor.

  • Comment 19, posted at 05.08.16 12:40:05 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 19) : Very tough to justify to taxpayers why the metro should be sponsoring a rugby team…i smell a riot…although PE folk are chilled so maybe just some sand kicked around. Its the securing of a sponsor that does seem to be the major obstacle for the Union. And the Cheetahs had the same issue not so long ago.

  • Comment 20, posted at 05.08.16 12:45:12 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 20) : metro will be paying for the stadium if there is no teams playing in it so they’re trying to keep rugby alive with the hope that in future they (and the soccor team) will pay the maintenance of the new 2010 stadium.

  • Comment 21, posted at 05.08.16 13:03:23 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 21) : Thats a fair enough concept. But does come with a big tax payer funded bill initially. Municipality should rather look to creating incentives for possible sponsors of the team.

  • Comment 22, posted at 05.08.16 13:17:39 by SheldonK Reply

  • @JD (Comment 21) : 100% correct. Nice little hole for the new mayor to try and fill…..

    sponsor/ partner needed asap

  • Comment 23, posted at 05.08.16 13:19:14 by Kabouter Reply

  • I’d like to know the truth about Kanowski,think back a bit he was named as the Sharks captain to play against the Lions inJHB,but he never took the field,only announced at the kickoff that he was injured.He never played for the Sharks again.
    No farewell no testimonial and now no contract.
    Something doesn’t smell right here.

  • Comment 24, posted at 05.08.16 13:53:34 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 24) : I could have sworn it was announced in February that he was continuing his career at Ulster?When did that not materialize?Something is quite strange indeed. 😯

  • Comment 25, posted at 05.08.16 14:21:12 by BarendL Reply
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  • @BarendL (Comment 25) : that was rumoured, not confirmed. Ulster signed Coetzee instead

  • Comment 26, posted at 05.08.16 14:31:16 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 26) : Oh okay,thanks Rob

  • Comment 27, posted at 05.08.16 14:33:19 by BarendL Reply
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  • According to my info Kanko is contracted to the SA 7’s for this season (just like Francois Hougaard). I know he did play for them but not sure about his future in rugby as I can’t find any info on Google.

  • Comment 28, posted at 05.08.16 14:48:53 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 28) : But why did he leopard crawl out of Durban under cover ofdarkness,something not right here.

  • Comment 29, posted at 05.08.16 16:16:39 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 29) : for sure something seems a bit off but I really hope there’s nothing wrong as I must admit Kanko is one of my all time favourite players.

  • Comment 30, posted at 05.08.16 16:47:19 by JD Reply
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  • Okay.
    So I said no one would ever liquidate a rugby team because they’d get nothing and rugby would go on.

    I was wrong.I should have said:
    No one in their right mind would ever liquidate a rugby team because they’d get nothing and rugby would go on.

  • Comment 31, posted at 07.08.16 12:48:19 by fyndraai Reply
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  • I guess the real purpose of the exercise was to remove management.

    It would be interesting to find out who will control the New Kings. Per rugby custom (constitution) it must be a union formed by the clubs. What will prevent the clubs from just electing the same crooks again?

  • Comment 32, posted at 07.08.16 12:53:13 by fyndraai Reply
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  • @fyndraai (Comment 32) : Common sense, we’d hope – sadly greed trumps common sense, as is the SA norm.

  • Comment 33, posted at 07.08.16 13:22:57 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @fyndraai (Comment 32) : …with the R20mil set to be reviewed, it would be wise for the cash injection until the new administration has been elected….easy way to influence the vote.

  • Comment 34, posted at 08.08.16 07:20:03 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 34) : *to be paused

  • Comment 35, posted at 08.08.16 07:20:50 by FireTheLooser Reply


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